Kenneth West, 72, of Middleburg, Florida, formerly of North Liberty, died at his home April 7, 2014, after a short illness. Kenneth chose to donate his body to science and the remains were cremated. The ashes will be laid to rest at Oakland Cemetery, Solon, with private graveside services, Saturday, July 26, at 1:30 p.m. A celebration of his life will be a time of food and fellowship for family and friends at the public meeting room of the Solon Public Library after 2 p.m.
Kenneth was born March 15, 1942, in Madison County, North Carolina, to Calvin and Opal (Moore) West. He spent his growing up years in both North Carolina and for a few years in Maryland, right outside Washington, D.C. The family moved to Joliet, Illinois, when he was a teenager. It was here that he met Joanne Ham, his future wife. They moved to Johnson County in 1970. They were married in Rock Island, Illinois, on March 30, 1973, and spent 41 good years together.
Kenneth worked at various occupations before coming to Johnson County, but once he settled here he went to work for the University of Iowa as a boiler operator for the University Power Plant. He worked at the power plant for 27 years until his retirement in 1999. At this time the family moved to Florida to join daughter, Robyn, and to enjoy the warm weather and avoid the Iowa winters. After moving to Florida, Ken used to tell his friends up north that he had worn out a lot of snow shovels from shoveling sunshine.
Kenneth loved the outdoors, especially going hunting and fishing. He took much pride in his two black lab companions, Penny and Niki, with whom he spent many hours at the Coralville Reservoir hunting ducks. After the move to Florida there was no more hunting, but there was plenty of water for fishing. Nothing pleased him more than to spend the day fishing in the Atlantic Ocean or the Gulf of Mexico with his three oldest grandsons.
Kenneth is survived and will be greatly missed by his wife, Joanne; two daughters, Robyn (Charlie) Comeau and Tracy (Jeff) Hurd; and the greatest love of his life, his seven grandchildren, Dustyn and Eryck Lockyer, Michael, Julia and Aaron Comeau, Meghan and Deven Hurd, all of whom resided nearby in Florida and visited often. He is also survived by a sister, Christine Anderson of North Carolina; and a brother, Donald West of Alabama, who went to join Ken at the “Pearly Gates” just 52 days later.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Calvin and Opal West.